Weekend entertainment guide: Top picks around town

No summer is complete without a barbecue, so head down to 20th annual Safeway Barbecue Battle. (Photo Courtesy of Safeway Barbecue Battle)

Alicia Lozano, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Summer has officially arrived, which means adventures abound in the capital region. Cool off with some opera, wine and barbecue.

Enjoy five weeks of music in the scenic meadows of Rappahannock County, Va. during the The Castleton Festival, which kicks off Friday evening. Founded by conductor Maestro Lorin Maazel and Dietlinde Turban Maazel, the 2012 Festival takes place in a 600-seat theater on the Maazels’ 550 acre property. Opening weekend features music from “CATS”, “The Barber of Seville” and Mahler’s Symphony No. 1. The schedule changes daily and tickets vary depending on performance, so please check the website for a full list of events.

No summer is complete without a barbecue, so head down to the 20th annual Safeway Barbecue Battle Saturday and Sunday in downtown D.C. The festival includes treats from throughout the country, free food samples and live entertainment. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children ages 6 through 12. Buy online here.

Escape the heat at the Kennedy Center Saturday and Sunday when it debuts a new multimedia opera, “Oceanic Verses.” Set against the Mediterranean Sea, the opera follows four characters searching to rediscover their lost pasts. Buy tickets online or call 202-467-4600.

The VietFest brings all things Southeast Asian to George Mason University Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. There will be food, art and entertainment, including traditional song and dance. Don’t miss the martial arts demonstration or the Miss VietFest 2012 Pageant. Tickets are $5 to $9 and can be purchased online. Admission is free for people wearing traditional Vietnamese dress.

Alexandria is hosting its first annual Food and Wine Festival Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. at Carlyle Square. Check out food demos, wine tents and plenty of tastings. Local restaurants will compete for best appetizer, main course and dessert. Participants include The Chart House, Delia’s, San Antonio Bar and Grill, Walker’s Grille, La Tasca, and Jamieson Grille. Mattaponi, Unicorn, Prince Michel Vineyard and Lake Anna are just some of the wineries that will be on hand. Check the website for more information.

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